Fibre, Naturally

July 17, 2009

2009 is the International Year of Natural Fibre, and this summer the Korean art of Hanji, 100% natural fibre, will be shown in Vancouver, BC from August 11 to 16.

Hanji is traditional Korean Paper, hand made from the bark of mulberry trees. Hanji paper varies in strength and quality depending on the tree the fibres come from, and the process of making the paper. For centuries it has been used for a wide range of products such as windows and flooring, boxes, dolls and umbrellas, as well as for more traditional paper arts.

The artists of Jeonju, Korea have taken Hanji paper in new and innovative directions, making paper yarns which are woven into fabrics; and making extraordinary paper garments through a felting process known as Joomchi.

This August, Vancouver audiences will be treated to an exhibition of traditional and non-traditional Hanji art in a collaboration between artists from Jeonju, Korea, and the Vancouver Guild of Fibre Arts, the Greater Vancouver Weavers’ and Spinners’ Guild, and FibreEssence. Together with the CCBC, the Canadian Society for Asian Arts, and Emily Carr University, we will present an exhibition, lecture and fashion show ‚Äì yes, handmade paper garments that can be worn and even washed and worn again ‚Äì from August 11 to 16 at the Emily Carr Concourse Gallery on Granville Island.

Over 20 artisans will be coming from Korea to give demonstrations of the paper-making process, as well as showing some of the products currently being made from Hanji paper. They will also be bringing over 40 designer garments made from paper or from fabrics that mix paper yarn with silk, linen, or other natural fibres, as well as innovative woven hangings and 3-D pieces. Local artists, using Hanji or other paper will also be participating with woven, knitted, and stitched works as well as garments for the fashion show, being held on August 13.

August 11, CCBC will hold its annual Gala fundraiser in the Gallery. On August 12, CSAA will present a free lecture on Hanji paper processes, and throughout the week there will be demonstrations and exhibitions across Granville Island, sponsored by other Island businesses.

As part of the festivities, in the park behind Opus Granville Island, demonstration tables will be set up, so come on down and try making some hand-made papers with paper pulp, create block printing patterns, try marbling on papers and learn some quick ideas on making your own paper lanterns with Hanji papers on August 13 and 14 from 2pm-4pm.

The exhibition will also be shown at the Port Coquitlam Visual Arts Centre, Port Coquitlam and FibreWorks Gallery, Madeira Park on the Sunshine Coast, from August 20 to September 13. Please check the CCBC website for more information at